7 ways You3Dit delivers a mechanical design, engineering and rapid prototyping super power to your team

End-to-end Process – Consolidated, end-to-end processes for design & fabrication, is a valuable process that few attempt in our business. We do this by managing a zero-to-prototype process and execute these steps with the following philosophies in mind: a) keeping documentation and project history consistent b) clearly communicating through action and project engagement c) having You3Dit staff overseeing your project all along the way. Right tool for Right job – Clients, designers and fabricators place their jobs into the You3Dit ecosystem and in this way, we believe the best person to do the job (based on timing, skillsets, capacity and capability) apply / quote the work.  This minimizes gouge-pricing / surge-pricing caused by a client lack of supplier options at any given time. Cost per part and service fee, that’s it – Shipping, packaging, taxes, etc. are all wrapped up into that one quote & process fee.  So while we definitely understand the idea that most clients do not want to see the

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Why is my 3D printed part so expensive?

Short answer…it’s probably not expensive relative to what you’re asking for. It’s that society programs us from birth to think plastics and other physical goods are “cheap” thanks to clever design for manufacturing at scale. Here’s why… We recognize that AM parts can be “expensive” relative to other plastic parts you might have seen available off the shelf.  In this post, we’d like to walk you through one way of thinking about pricing on plastic part fabrication, both conventionally and with digital manufacturing. A common example we give is the “spork” offered at your favorite fast food restaurant.  Fast-food restaurants can give these away for free because they make them in the 10M+ / yr and therefore their $500K mold that produces them can be amortized.  It’s part of a pleasurable eating experience in the United States to have a fork + spoon combined. But to make just 1 (one) plastic spork with that manufacturing process (plastic injection molding) would

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12 ways to document your new hardware concept

12 ways to effectively document your new hardware business concept / idea without needing an engineer. TLDR: Take photos of the problem / sketch out the use case.  Pictures are worth 1000 words. Write down a basic description of how you believe your hardware concept solves the problem(s) at hand. Who cares?  List at least 3x different types of people who you believe would want this solution.  Write down 3x different types of people who you believe would pay for this solution.  See the difference there? Materials? List the top 5 materials you think the hardware product should be made from. Other tech?  Are there any other features which are not simply passive materials that are required for your concept to function properly?  Electrical engineered circuits?  Software interactivity? Patent worthy? Try to identify at least 10+ aspects / features of your concept that are new, useful and non-obvious. Patent ready?  Review your work and then write down 10+ steps on

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Online Additive Manufacturing with MIT, edX and You3Dit

When someone is asked, “who has the best undergraduate engineering program? Graduate engineering program?”, 99 times out of 100 that person will respond: MIT or Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  So when they say, “would you like to help us co-teach a program this summer at MIT” the answer is just as obvious…you say “yes”! Kicking off You3Dit’s work with MIT started with our content development and course facilitation for their online edX course called: “Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production“.  This is “An 11-week course on the fundamentals, applications, and implications of 3D printing for design and manufacturing” and as Chris puts it, “this is the most comprehensive course on Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) that I’ve ever seen…”  Professor A. John Hart and his rockstar team of course developers and facilitators helped over 1000 online learners take their knowledge of Additive Manufacturing to the next level. If you were ever wishing there was a comprehensive, online course on Additive

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TechShop Bankrupt, Maker Community mourns by taking action

It’s taken us some time to process the magnitude and impact of the recent news that TechShop declared chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Many of the fabricators in our network leveraged the tools provided by the TechShop to conduct much of our clients’s fabrication work.  Those users productivity all has since stopped, delayed expected delivery dates for project work and has pushed that fabrication demand originally supplied by TechShop members onto our You3Dit independent laser, CNC machine and 3D Printer owner / operators.   We’ve scrambled a bit internally to reroute the fabrication of several jobs and are back on track for the short term  (HUGE THANKS to our You3Dit fabricators who stepped up).  We want to help others do the same. However as of this writing, TechShop is still bankrupt, closed an leaving many people stranded who need help with getting access to machines.  We have to figure out what we’re going to do next to solve the long-term issues created by

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In order to 3D print, you need a 3D Design file…we’re here to help you!

We often get requests to “3D print” something, an image or sketch or what have you where the client asks this simply to be “fabricated”.  In our simple 3 step process: Client submits a new project New project is 3D Designed (client is provided the 3D Design files, e.g. *.STL) Project is Fabricated (e.g. 3D Printed) This request effectively translates into “please start at step #1, skip step #2, and then proceed to step #3.” As of this writing, there is no automated process that we’re familiar with that can automate step #2 and thus, it requires some human involvement to transform the client request into the 3D CAD Design file that is needed to “3D Print” or fabricate in any number of digital fabrication methods.  We are actively pursuing research to support our Design Acquisition System (DAS) but it’s not ready for prime time…yet.  But do not worry, there is still hope for your project! Our 3D Design network is

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How to best get ready to submit a new project on You3Dit Beta

It’s not always obvious to our makers what they need to know in order to get started on a new project.  Our You3Dit Beta “Create Project” is pretty intuitive and will guide you on what to submit. Here’s the MUST HAVE, SHOULD HAVE and NICE-TO-HAVE items that improve the likelihood of your idea coming to life with You3Dit.  We’ll explain why as we walk you through the process. If you’re in a hurry, get the must-haves included in your project and you can fill in the details later once you’ve chosen a 3D Designer / Fabricator…but it’s typically better for everyone involved to get these details included in the process as early as possible…especially for you and your wallet.

Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Maker (Part 2 of 2)

Why read this article? Because if you are who we think you are, investing 10 minutes of your precious time now to read this article will save you a lot of time in the future as you bring your idea to life. This is a two-part article which will walk you through five essential parts of the You3Dit Process: Who is a Maker in the You3Dit Network? (Part 1) How much does it cost (Part 1) Creating a Project (Part 1) Getting your idea designed in 3D (Part 2) Getting your new 3D Design fabricated (Part 2) Part 2: The Design and Fabrication Processes In this article we’ll cover the important topics of: Reviewing Design Quotes Choosing Designers Iterating Reviewing Fabrication Quotes Choosing Fabricators The “First Fab” and Getting your Parts Delivered Designer & Fabricator Ratings

Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Maker (Part 1 of 2)

Why read this article? Because if you are who we think you are, investing 10 minutes of your precious time now to read this article will save you a lot of time in the future as you bring your idea to life. This is a two-part article which will walk you through five essential parts of the You3Dit Process: Who is a “Maker” in the You3Dit network? (Part 1) How much does it cost (Part 1) Creating a Project (Part 1) Getting your idea designed in 3D (Part 2) Getting your new 3D Design fabricated (Part 2) But first…

Mastering You3Dit Beta as a Designer

Now that you’ve registered as a Designer on our brand-new, fully-functional Beta Platform, here are some key steps you can take to become a Master: Completing your You3Dit profile Submitting compelling Design Quotes Mastering Design Iterations Designing with digital manufacturing in mind Being proactive and “wowing” the client Designers who take these steps get more gigs, improve their design skills more quickly and in general, earn more money from You3Dit.  We’re also highlighting current BETA WORKAROUNDS that you can use to be more successful while the platform is “under construction”.